Australian PM: WTO needs mending to keep up with the times

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, speaks with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong during a joint press conference at the Istana or Presidential Palace in Singapore, Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, left, and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shake hands at the Istana Presidential Palace in Singapore, Friday, June 7, 2019. (Wallace Woo/Pool Photo via AP)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends a joint press conference at the Istana or Presidential Palace in Singapore, Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a business lunch event hosted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference at the Istana or Presidential Palace in Singapore, Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends a joint press conference at the Istana or Presidential Palace in Singapore, Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Yong Teck Lim)

SINGAPORE — Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that the World Trade Organization needs mending to keep up with the times.

Morrison said many leaders attending the Group of 20 summit in Osaka later this month share the view.

"There is a strong consensus about the need to modernize the WTO and its rules," he said.

"We need to mend it, we don't need to break it, and mending it requires a lot of partnership," he added. "Just now it's the technical practical things that need to get done."

Morrison, who spoke at a lunch organized by the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, didn't go into the specifics of what needed to change.

But he referred to a "very practical" speech by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at an annual security conference last week.

Lee said multilateral institutions like the WTO were "far from perfect" and in need of reform.

"Multilateral global deals like the Uruguay Round are no longer practical, when agreement requires a full consensus among 164 member countries of hugely diverse interests and philosophies," he said.

"Furthermore, the WTO was designed for an agricultural and manufacturing-based world economy, but the world has moved on to services and now increasingly digital and intellectual property, which need much more complicated rules," Lee added.

Morrison is on his first overseas trip after a shock election victory in May. It includes stops at the Solomon Islands, Britain and Singapore.

Suspected suicide bombs in Jakarta kills 3...

May 24, 2017

Two suspected suicide bombings near a bus terminal in Indonesia's capital Wednesday night killed...

Freeport to cut stake in Indonesia mine after...

Aug 29, 2017

Indonesia is allowing Freeport-McMoRan to continue operating a giant gold and copper mine after the...

Tens of thousands stranded as Bali volcano closes...

Nov 27, 2017

Indonesian authorities ordered a mass evacuation of people from an expanded danger zone around an...

Volcano gushing ash over Bali closes airport for...

Nov 28, 2017

A volcano gushing towering columns of ash closed the airport on the Indonesian tourist island of...

Stranded in Bali tourists lampooned online for...

Dec 1, 2017

Australian tourists who complained about being stranded on tropical Bali when volcanic ash closed...

Top News
What's Trending
Penggerak pasaran mengikut TradingView

About Us

Duniaga is Malaysia’s top local source for business news and information where people head to stay connected with the business news. We give daily in-depth analysis on the business happenings in the country.

Subscribe Now!